Monday 7 June 2010

Nightmare Commute

This morning I had pretty much the worse ride in to work I can imagine (I hope I’m not tempting fate by saying that).

The ride started off pretty well – I was going quick and felt strong. When I got to Oval tube I was in the ASL box and in front of other queuing cyclists so when the lights went green I pushed hard to get out of their way. As I was changing up through the gears I heard a ping and the pedals went slack – I had broken my chain!

At this point in my journey I had 6 miles left to get to work and at this time in the morning – around 7:15 there are no cycle shops open.

I started walking…

I was looking out for a taxi but the only ones I saw were on the other side of the road and didn’t see me – or didn’t want to.

After 2 miles in Elephant & Castle a very kind cyclist stopped to try and help me out. He had a chain tool but unfortunately after trying for a while he wasn’t able to fix the chain – it was too fiddly and the link seemed to be damaged. I thanked him for trying to help out. He suggested I go to On Your Bike which by now had opened. I did try and phone them but they said all the mechanics were busy and they wouldn’t be able to look at the bike till lunch.

I carried on walking…

After walking about 3 miles I got to Tower Bridge, only to find it opening. I had to wait until a huge cruise liner went past before it closed again and then had to wait for all the other ambling pedestrians thinned out so I could get past.

I walked some more…

After walking around 5 miles in total I got to the swing bridge on Narrow Street – and guess what, it was opening too!

I only had another mile to go after that. I walked a total of 6 miles and was about 2.5 hours later than I would have been if I hadn’t had the broken chain. I managed to persuade Evans to fix the chain at lunch time.

Luckily my cycle home was without incident. It was actually really good. I was really fast and was flying up the hills.

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